The FIA and the commercial arm of the World Rally Championship, International Sportsworld Communicators, are reporting a closer and more productive relationship than ever before following this week's Max Mosley-led marketing seminar in Paris.
For the first time in the history of the series, Mosley spoke to representatives from all of the stakeholders (ISC, the event organsers and the manufacturers) involved in the sport about the different ways forward for the sport from its current position. Such was the success of Tuesday's day-long seminar, it is expected to be repeated later this year before potentially becoming an annual event.
A source close to the FIA said: "This was the strongest possible outcome. There couldn't have been a better outcome for the first significant meeting post-promoter appointment for ISC. This will definitely start the closest contact ever between the FIA and ISC.
"Discussion between the two now comes more frequently and at a more senior level than ever before. The opening statement Max (Mosley) made about the confidence the FIA has in ISC as a promoter and its ability to get the job done was very strong.
"This was a great opportunity for Max to get in and have some direct contact with existing WRC manufacturers and those others attending the meeting. The big winner here was definitely the sport of rallying."
ISC CEO Simon Long echoed those sentiments, saying: "The sense of goodwill among the stakeholders was tremendous. People are ready to roll their sleeves up and help work to allow the WRC to achieve its full potential. It was good news all around.
"While the FIA has its clear roll as a regulator and our roll is the promoter, the reality is that we are working together and there's going to be a cross-pollination of ideas as we seek to achieve our aims. The one thing we share, above all else, is a desire to make the WRC a successful, viable and safe championship."
Long added that progress was also made on developing the sport under the toughest possible global economic conditions.
"I was struck by the willingness from the FIA, the event organisers and the manufacturers to listen to the marketing argument," said Long. "There has been a coming together of minds to keep both the costs and the barriers of entry to both manufacturers and private teams right down. The seminar truly felt like the dawn of a new era."